13 simple steps to the ecommerce website development process
According to the Nyse, by 2040, 95% of items purchased will be made through ecommerce. Fortunately for you, we have laid out a 13-step process that will assist you in quickly creating a successful ecommerce store.
13 steps to the ecommerce website development process
Creating an online store entails more than simply analyzing the market you’re just about enter. You should also be familiar with branding, website design, and content marketing. This may appear to be a lot of work.
We’ve broken it down into 13 steps to help you ease your own ecommerce website development process and achieve your business objectives.
1. Figure out what you’re going to sell
The very first step in digital commerce advancement is determining what you will sell. What piques your interest?
Creating an online store based on your interests translates into the a company you’ll enjoy running. If you’re into clothing store guitar acoustic instruments, catching fish lures, or high-end gets to watch, finding your focus strategy doesn’t have to be difficult.
Of course, many businesses have been started for other reasons. Perhaps you see the need in a specific market and would like to offer prospective consumers item solutions to their problems.
Whatever your business objectives are, an ecommerce project must be steered by both merchandise research and research on the people to whom you hope to sell them. This can determine its success but also having a pile of merchandise you can’t get let go of.
Understand the market you’re entering. Be aware of which products succeed and which trends come and go. Running an online store entails knowing not only what prospective customers may require right now, but also what they will desire in the future.
There’s also the issue of competition. It will be difficult to make any kind of headway if you really want to enter a room with heavy players and equally heavy marketing budgets. Trying to find a niche with more respiration room can help you. Entering a market with a fresh perspective, distinct brand recognition, and a better experience than the competing can all work in your favour.
2. Determine your ecommerce business model
There are several types of e- commerce models, but the two most common are business – to – business (B2B) as well as business – to – consumer (B2C) (B2C). Knowing the distinction — and where your ecommerce company falls — is critical.
Business to consumer (B2C)
The vast majority of online stores with which we interact are business to business (B2C). Whether it’s Amazon, Zappos, or Aim, whenever we click the checkout button, we’ve completed a transfer of funds on a B2C website. Items or assistance on a Business – to – business website are sold directly from business owners to the public at large, with no third parties involved.
Business to business (B2B)
Companies that purchase to other businesses are known as business – to – business (or B2B). These are businesses that may manufacture something, be a wholesaler, or offer services and products in a specific industry. ROOM is an excellent example of a Business – to – business ecommerce company.
3. Know your audience
One benefit of starting a business in a field you’re familiar with which is that you also understand your target audience because you’re a member of it. Even if you already understand your audience, doing some research to better understand them is beneficial to any ecommerce business.
Understanding who ones potential customers are has an impact on all aspects of the digital commerce development process. Everything is tailored to ones potential customers, including the user experience interface, web design visuals, content, and so on.
You should be aware about who ones potential clients are. What is their history? What is their expected income? What are their ages? And from which competitors’ websites are they most likely to make a purchase? All of this data will assist you in developing an ecommerce business that is tailored to their preferences and needs, resulting in a stronger connection and an enhanced user experience.
4. Come up with a good business name
Avoid cliches and naming your company something that is too similar to that of your competitors. You must stand out. A distinct name will set you apart from everyone in the same enterprise market.
Make it succinct
Shorter business names are more memorable. Do you have any examples of ecommerce websites or shopfronts that go beyond either one two words? We’ll give you a moment… We didn’t believe so. Ask Apple, E – bay, or Google. Short names improve brand recognition. People want something simple to remember and uncomplicated.
A uninteresting, uninspired name could indeed devalue a brand, regardless of how good their goods or services are.
Consider Marketing automation software, Blue Apron, or the Sprouts grocery store. All of them stand out and in their respective disciplines by changing names that are distinct and different from those of their peers. Give ones ecommerce website a unique name that will impress visitors.
Not to mention the ability to obtain a web address — having a distinct brand name implies you have a good chance of obtaining your ideal web address. If your ideal web address is already taken, you might be capable of coming up with something close with a little innovation and wordplay.
Although.com is the most popular top level domain, there are several others you could use if you can’t find an obtainable URL. There may be something available in the domains.biz,.shop,.solutions, or.online, among others.
5. Purchase a domain name
You have such a business name as well as a URL that is available. Go in front and register the web address before you begin building the store. A lot can shift quickly on the internet, and that ideal URL might be taken up later in the development of your ecommerce website. Purchase your web address now to avoid having to worry about that now later. Believe us.
6. Determine your branding
Cola is the biggest, Dunkin donuts, and Apple have become ingrained in our collective psyche. With legendary logos, visual histories, and ways of talking, these brands have such a stronger connection with their customers than companies with less defined identities. Branding gives businesses emotional resonance, transforming people from faceless entities into ones we care about. It is what drives consumer brand loyalty.
A memorable logo, colour palette, and distinct voice are also required for an ecommerce website. Every one of these different web design elements come together to create a user experience that is driven by the brand’s personality.
Another important aspect of marketing is telling your story. Your target audience should understand why your ecommerce site exists and who is behind it. You’re just another anonymous electronic portal if you don’t humanise your brand. Most of us are reluctant to enter our credit card information into an anonymous website that offers nothing more than product specifications. Personalization of your brand fosters trust.
Your brand, of course, should have a voice. Voice is what morphs your content from a dull comedy routine into active and engaging writing. Whatever you’re selling, your brand’s voice can set it apart from the competition. Consider Gillette versus Cents Shave Club, or Purple Mattress versus Tuft & Needle. Having a tone involves having an identity which makes your brand identifiable. This marketing message will pervade everything from your ecommerce site to ones social networks. Make certain that it is consistent and distinct.
7. Find the right ecommerce platforme
To run ones ecommerce website, you have several options for ecommerce platforms, such as Ecommerce, Ecommerce, or a plugin like Ecommerce with WordPress. And there are undoubtedly advantages and disadvantages to the various ecommerce products available.
These key features should be a part of the ecommerce platform you decide to power your own website:
- Responsive design: Whether it’s being viewed on a desktop, mobile app, or other mobile devices, the ecommerce platform should offer a consistent experience.
- Product management: Every part of the workflow of adding, editing, and keeping track of inventory should be simple to accomplish. You should also be able to offer multiple versions of a product, as well promotional or sale pricing when needed.
- Content management system (CMS): You need a CMS for updating and editing dynamic content like blogs and news, as well as other reappearing blocks of content in a design. Having a CMS can go far in keeping your website updated with new content supporting the products you sell.
- Shopping cart: Be able to customize and style a shopping cart so that it fits seamlessly into the shopping experience.
- Checkout page: Just like the shopping cart, you shouldn’t be stuck with a checkout page that you can’t modify or customize.
- Payment processing: Have the functionality to accept payments from credit cards as well as from electronic payments like Apple Pay, PayPal, Stripe, Google Pay, and other common payment gateways.
And, of course, there’s Webflow (we’re a little biassed). Webflow has a tonne of great templates, such as Luma, that you could use to get your possess shop up to speed quickly. We want to provide you with an all-in-one plan that provides all you need to create, operate, and manage ones online store without the need for coding.
8. Plan a content strategy
We believe in content-first design. Going to build a website with factual substance rather than filler results in a more accurate representation of the finished product sooner than anticipated. Working backward and incorporating visuals, message, and other components later in time can make things more difficult.
A content strategy is required at the start of the development process. This includes understanding what content is required to tell ones brand stories and interact what your product lines do. Writing, pictures, videos, graphs, and other media may be required to best engage with your customers.
Knowing your audience is essential for content strategy. What are their most frequently asked questions about products you sell, and what data would they find helpful? You should include answers to common questions they may well have, as well as information that ones competitors do not have. A good content for an ecommerce website helps determine what you’ll need and how to communicate it effectively in a design.
The coding technique of your website is shaped by your content strategy. Consider your content to be freight on a subway, and your information architecture to be the tracks that transport it. You must understand what your customers require and the best way to deliver the content to them.
9. Do search engine optimization
Organic traffic is determined by the significance of your content inside the eyes of crawlers. Paying attention to Organic search may assist you in ranking higher and receiving more clicks.
Some SEO best practices include:
- Using the terminology that people commonly use when talking about the products and area of interest your products fall into
- Doing keyword research via Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends
- Making sure all of the headers (like H1 and H2) and the title and description all contain relevant words and phrases
- Taking a tasteful approach to incorporating SEO, never cramming your content with keywords or allowing optimization to decrease the content’s readability
Of course, SEO extends far beyond these bullet points. Check out our detailed guide to ensuring your website is Google SEO optimised.
10. Determine product categories
Assume you’re in a department store elevator. Each button has a description of what’s on that floor next to it. Men’s clothing is on one level, women’s clothing is on another, and children’s clothing is on a separate floor. Choosing a floor leads you to an it several of signs indicating each section, further categorising all of the products on the ground.
The organisation of an ecommerce website is similar. Each segment may be a conglomeration of products similar by who they are intended for, their purpose, and the characteristics they share. This same satnav, calls to action, as well as other methods for getting more people to ones products in as few clicks as possible are all dependent on a clearly defined set of market segments.
Product categories should be brief and to the point. Someone needs to be able to identify and comprehend what they are. This is not the time to be inventive. Customers want familiar landmarks to point them in the right direction.
Zappos utilizes a clear organization of its products. There’s no mistaking what each of these sections on the top level of the navigation represents:
In the preceding example, we see each of the subcategories which fall under Men, to Shoes, Garments, and Even More further breaking things down.
What Zappos does well is keep their product categories clearly defined. Product categories are distinct and have little overlap. If your own different products are clogged with intersecting items, you can likely simplify things a little more.
Framework your own shop and categories in a way which makes discovering and discovering relevant things intuitive and simple. Providing customers with clear paths to ones products results in a higher exchange rate.
11. Take detailed product photos
Most folks with a good camera and some experience can start taking good photos with a simple setup of a gimbal, a pair of lights, and a print backdrop. However, if you have the means, paying a professional for higher-quality images may be worthwhile. It is the photographer’s responsibility to ensure that the photos are properly focused as well as white balanced, and that the colours are truly the case to the product lines. Having the ability to enhance these shots with photo editing software will make them another even better portrayal of your products.
One disadvantage of online shoppers is that potential clients cannot see or hold a physical product. To compensate, the product images you use must grasp all of the significant details. The more data you can convey to your customers through pictures with distinct viewpoints and close up shots, the better they will understand your goods.
12. Write effective product descriptions
A product description informs customers about what they must know. It emphasises an item’s features and the benefits of using it. It provides all of the information someone requires to make critical judgement to add it all to one‘s cart.
Yes, product descriptions must include specifications and features, but they must go beyond a dry recitation of facts. They must be guided by compassion and connect on a personal level with potential customers.
Consider the following product description for REI’s half-dome tent:
We get a lot of great information about this tent, as well as some nice conversational copy that speaks directly to a potential camper. The first line, “Your residence away from home shouldn’t skimp on the essentials,” focuses on the customer and their needs. The features section mentions “livable space,” “easy access,” and “headroom” — all words that anyone who has spent time in a tent will recognise (especially for anyone who has occupied one lacking in these features).
Product descriptions should keep the client in mind and interact how well a product will help them solve problems and improve their lives.
13. Find the right shipping software
Order fulfilment and shipping are simplified with the right technology. Having an effective shipment software to handle all of the complexities of this final stage is especially important when shipping large volumes of orders.
Shippo, as it has a native unification of Webflow, does have a number of useful features, such as store integration, the ability to print both shipment and return symbols, and customer tracking information. Shippo has an impressive and is well-suited for any quarter of employees to use, with manufacturers like Tuft & Needle, Ebay.com, and Freelancer all using it as their fulfilment platform. They also allow you to use a diverse range of carriers, such as USPS, UPS, Shipping company Articulate, and FedEx, and provide you with possibilities for whichever insurer you prefer.
ShipStation provides a web-based platform with quick setup, a ability to print thousands and thousands of tags at once if necessary, and a shipping mobile app. It is also another useful tool for any size business.
Webflow loves helping entrepreneurs
Ecommerce has opened up new opportunities for many of those looking to stake their claim in the digital space known as the internet.
We are pleased to offer ecommerce solutions that enable people to create fully functional websites without the need for coding. Everything from designing designs with interactions as well as animations to adding new products is part of what we provide. We’re excited to have lowered the barrier to ecommerce and really want to help you build an online presence that is everything user want it to be.